Joe Manchin’s Decision Could Hand Republicans a Senate Seat

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WASHINGTON, DC – FEBRUARY 14: Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) departs from a closed-door, classified briefing for Senators at the U.S. Capitol Building on February 14, 2023 in Washington, DC. Officials from the Department of Defense and the intelligence community briefed senators after the U.S. military shot down four objects in North American airspace within eight days, including one government officials said was a Chinese surveillance balloon. Members of Congress are demanding more information from the Biden Administration. (Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

Manchin’s Decision Prompts Concern Across Political Spectrum

West Virginia Democrat senator Joe Manchin’s announcement that he will not run for re-election next year has triggered speculation that he might instead launch a bid for the White House as the candidate of No Labels, a third-party group which has attracted significant funding.

Manchin has long flirted with such a bid, brushing off warnings that by running he would only help elect Donald Trump, the likely Republican candidate who is far ahead in the party’s 2024 nomination race.

On Thursday, announcing his decision to quit the Senate, Manchin pointed to a possible presidential run. He said: “After months of deliberation and long conversations with my family, I believe in my heart of hearts that I have accomplished what I set out to do for West Virginia.

“I have made one of the toughest decisions of my life and decided that I will not be running for re-election to the United States Senate.

“But what I will be doing is traveling the country and speaking out to see if there is an interest in creating a movement to mobilise the middle and bring Americans together.”

Manchin’s Decision Could Backfire

Polling shows that most Americans do not want a rematch between Joe Biden and Donald Trump next year, deeming the former too old, at nearly 81, and the latter, 77, too damaged by his chaotic presidency, assault on democracy and extreme criminal and civil predicament.

Nonetheless, a rematch seems all but assured. Accordingly, Manchin’s announcement prompted concern across the political spectrum.

Bill Kristol, a Never Trumper on the right, said: “Tuesday night’s results [in Kentucky, Ohio and elsewhere] were good news for Democrats. Manchin’s announcement today was bad news – bad for Democratic prospects for holding the Senate in 2024, bad for No Labels implications in the presidential race.”

Olivia Troye, an adviser to Mike Pence when he was vice-president to Donald Trump, said: “The odds of [Manchin] running on the No Labels ticket for president have likely increased exponentially. If he does run, it will split the votes and, in the end, only help Trump in the 2024 election.”

Rahna Epting, political action executive director of MoveOn, a progressive political action committee, also issued a stark warning: “Every independent analyst reaches the same conclusion: a No Labels ticket has no chance of winning a single electoral college vote in any state. Instead, their campaign would only ensure Trump’s re-election.”

Source: The Guardian

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